Who the hell is Priti Patel?

The BBC trucks rolled into Newport last night for their flagship political discussion programme, Question Time.

But it might as well have been Newport in Cornwall or the Isle of Wight. Gwent, and Wales in general, was off the agenda.

The panelists were all personalities of the Westminster village. Originally, there was also to be a Welsh assembly member, but she was ditched at the last minute.

But there was room for one election candidate. No, not an assembly election candidate but a Conservative A-lister who'll attempt to stand in some unspecified UK election in the future.

The topics up for discussion were the Commons vote on Trident, the Olympics budget, Tony Blair's four year-old interventionist speech and David Cameron's hairdo. Throughout the entire programme there was not a single hint that politics in Wales is now devolved.

This is the link that's missing when we all groan about the assembly's lack of popularity or the fact that only half the population appear to know there's an election due on May 3rd. Quite simply, there's no mention of devolved politics in the media most people consume; that's network news and national tabloids. Of course, this should be seen as a challenge for assembly politicians too. But they can't perform if they don't have a stage.

Labels: , , , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 6:49 am,

19 Comments:

At 8:08 am, Blogger Dylan Jones-Evans said...

I completely agree with you on this one, regardless of Leanne's politics.

The BBC Political Unit in London seem to have forgotten that the BBC Charter states quite clearly that part of the Public Purpose of the BBC is to "represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities".

This is something they clearly fail to do when they come to Wales (and this is not the first time this has happened). If QT was being being broadcast in Scotland, would they have only one Scottish panelist on.

If it was coming from Belfast, would they have only one Northern Ireland politician on the programme? I think we know the answer to that one...

Cynics would say that is down to the quality of our politicians but Leanne did a very commendable job last time she was on QT, especially compared to our esteemed First Minister (I believe it was the infamous 'I don't have an opinion on Iraq' edition).

Perhaps the problem is that the political editors in London believe that politics in Wales is represented by individuals such as Hain Opik and Morgan.

Whilst they are happy to have unknown London-based 'wanabees' foisted on them by all parties (including my own), they largely ignore the elected representatives of this nation's own devolved administration.

 
At 8:24 am, Blogger hafod said...

This is an issue all the Welsh political parties should be raising, rather than leaving it to Plaid.

Welsh politics as a whole lacks a robust media to keep it in check and also publicise its achievements/failings (as is the case in Scotland, N Ireland and England). That's why we're so pathetically reliant on the likes of Question Time to give airtime to our politicians.

I wonder whether Rhodri Morgan's decision not to take part unwittingly changed the complexion of the programme... once he was no longer on the panel, did the producers decide to concentrate solely on UK issues.

The Welsh wings of the London-based parties should ensure that Welsh politicians get a platform next time.

 
At 10:00 am, Blogger bethan said...

blamerbell, it's good to see some passion coming from you for a change!

We all know that QT has no interest in Wales. When Leanne was on it last time, there was only 1 question referring to Wales.
When I have phoned up to be in the audience on previous occassions, when I have mentioned welsh issues, the reasercher on the other side of the phone said sarcastically that they were not interested in my knowledge of Welsh affairs!

Yes, we must combine forces to convey to QT that this is outrageous.

As Dylan Jones Evans rightly comments, they would never dream of putting one Irish politician up on a Belfast show for example. It would be political suicide.

 
At 2:39 pm, Anonymous Tron said...

doesnt Dylan Jones Evans look like the bloke who played Fat Barry Evans in Eastenders who recently got knocked off Fame Academy.

 
At 3:22 pm, Blogger Chanticleer's said...

We all know that QT has no interest in Wales.

That's because it's a network programme serving a UK-wide audience. It would be a massive turn-off for most of the audience to watch a Question Time devoted to Welsh issues. That's why we have programmes like Pawb a'i Farn, Waterfront. And Dragon's Eye. Oh...

 
At 3:58 pm, Blogger bethan said...

'It would be a massive turn-off for most of the audience to watch a Question Time devoted to Welsh issues'

That's not my point.I am aware of the welsh programmes on BBC Wales as are everybody else! QT must play a part in communicating devolved issues to the public if it has programmes in Wales, for the welsh public to attend.

 
At 5:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're all wrong. Chanticleer and Arsembly are right on this.

 
At 5:24 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"You're all wrong. Chanticleer and Arsembly are right on this."

Imagine a QT from Belfast in which there was only one Northern Irish politician. And even then they avoid mentioning local goings-on even once.

Imagine a QT from Edinburgh, with just one Scottish Lib Dem MP and the rest flown in from the Westminster village. A programme that ignores the fact that Scotland has a devolved government.

I'm afraid it simply wouldn't happen and Wales shouldn't sit back and be happy that it's treated as a political pygmy.

What the assembly needs is some politicians to stand up and say, 'this ain't good enough', and maybe then more people will pay attention to what goes on in there.

 
At 7:05 pm, Blogger Arsembly said...

Fair point, but politics in Wales is far duller than in Scotland.

Also, the caliber of politicians is dire. Leanne FFS! Scotland have the Leader of the Lib Dems, the Chancellor, the Home Secretary. I don't necessarily agree with them, but they are A-listers in that respect.

Northern Ireland is a special case because it is always newsworthy - for the wrong reasons. I don't think we wouldn't want that kind of attention.

 
At 11:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m far more interested as to why Plaid are keeping Ieuan Wyn Jones off the airwaves…..does he embarrass them perhaps? Do they long for Dafydd Wigley to return from the political graveyard to attempt to give the nationalists one final rescue attempt?

If you went out on the streets of the towns and villages of Wales – I very much doubt people actually know who Leanne Wood is, and even if they did, I doubt they’d even care if she was on Question Time or not. Every time I’ve seen her on, she’s been an embarrassment.

 
At 11:37 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

They should have an assembly special solely for Welsh Affairs...

It was a bit shocking that Wales was kept off the agenda...

Is it me or lately QT is becoming APOLITICAL, just people whining, no real debate, just a bit of Iraq-bashing (without any actual solutions offered) with a hint of dickweeds like Hitchens...

That 'new' Tory lady is exactly the reason i dislike tories, smug, slimey without any actualy beliefs, she has got to be a tip for a cabinet post if cameron wins? Capital Punishment? yeah good one love.

Claire Short- yes congrats, you quit new Labour, now you just like to twist the knife in without offering any ACTUAL opinions...

Lembit Opik- actually did quite well.

Peter Hitchens- Dear god, is there still people like this in the media! can we chuck him and melanie phillips down a well?

Going back to the 'new a-list' tory...

She backtracked on the 'air tax' saying Cameron is 'starting' the debate, another example of Eton-boy kite flying with a hint of 'new-age' PR rubbish...She doesnt agree with Cameron on many things (Congrats to hitchens for pointing this out!) yet she is quite willing to bask in his reflective glory.

 
At 11:40 am, Anonymous Daran said...

I don't accept at all that we don't have politicians who are "up to" QT, either within or without the Assembly. Previous appearances by Assembly Members have been quite striking and I think the BBC (network or otherwise) has made an error of judgement on this occasion. Not only has Leanne been treated discourteously, but in their "Wales isn't good enough to field politicians who are worth listening to" attitude then QT has aligned itself with the type of attitude Arsembly displays. And don't forget that the programme is produced through Mentorn, which is a susidiary of Wales-based media outfit Tinopolis. I welcome the cross party response to this bad decision, and hope it will make sure such a snub to Welsh politicians doesn't happen again.

 
At 7:29 pm, Blogger hafod said...

If you went out on the streets of the towns and villages of Wales – I very much doubt people actually know who Leanne Wood is, and even if they did, I doubt they’d even care if she was on Question Time or not. Every time I’ve seen her on, she’s been an embarrassment.

A couple of things... she's been on QT once (so you're talking through your arse) and QT do not offer blank invitations to parties, they invite specific politicians.

Leanne Wood is as high profile as any opposition AM in the Assembly - I doubt many people could name their own AM let alone a regional AM.

 
At 12:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if it is the case that QT invite specific politicians, then it doesn’t say much about the calibre of Plaid’s bunch if they keep inviting Leanne Wood!!

Mind you, it probably explains why Bethan Jenkins (who I believe works for Leanne Wood?) has made a fool of herself on both occasions she’s *appeared* on dragon’s eye.

 
At 9:45 am, Blogger hafod said...

Is Anon's ignorance reflective of the level of sophistication we're going to get from Labour in the election campaign?

Adam Price, Helen Mary Jones, Dafydd Wigley have all appeared on QT and performed well. Can you name three Welsh Labour politicians to match them, Anon?

 
At 11:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Adam Price, Helen Mary Jones, Dafydd Wigley have all appeared on QT and performed well."

Why not Ieuan Wyn Jones? He is your leader, after all?

 
At 1:18 pm, Blogger Glyn Davies AM said...

Irrespective of the 'Welsh' angle, I would much have preferred to listen to Leanne (or any other AM for that matter) rather than Peter Hitchens who replaced her. The tragedy is that the people who are invited onto QT have to be 'celebrities' or just lambast everyone in an outrageous way as Hitchens does. Its an entertainment rather than a serious political programme.

We have a real problem in Wales because we have a weak Welsh media and most people take their news from UK sources. But its no good just whinging. We have to up our game if we want to have a UK impact.

BBCs bosses were in Cardiff last week - and I have to say that Alun Cairns gave it them, both barrels. Don't be surprised if Alun gets the call.

 
At 4:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David D probably couldn’t cope having a panellist on the programme that has a larger ego than him.

 
At 1:35 am, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Glyn sed Irrespective of the 'Welsh' angle, I would much have preferred to listen to Leanne (or any other AM for that matter) rather than Peter Hitchens who replaced her. The tragedy is that the people who are invited onto QT have to be 'celebrities' or just lambast everyone in an outrageous way as Hitchens does. Its an entertainment rather than a serious political programme.

Well Glyn you should thank your lucky stars that you only him and not his brother Christopher!! We have to suffer him on this side of the "pond" a former leftist now born again neocon

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home